Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

Please see our frequently asked questions (FAQs) below for answers related to Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA).  If you have a question related to American Citizen Services, please visit our general FAQs page or our Passport FAQs page.

The citizenship listed on the local birth certificate will not affect your child’s claim of U.S. citizenship.  If a child is the biological child of a U.S. citizen parent who meets transmission requirements, the Embassy or Consulate will issue the CRBA for the child.

Our policies require that the name on the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) certificate match the name on the Vietnamese birth certificate.  If you would like to change the existing name or add the English name to the CRBA, you will need to follow one of four possible procedures:

1.Obtain documentation from the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City or the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi indicating that you plan to seek U.S. citizenship for your child prior to issuance of the Vietnamese birth certificate so that your child can be issued a birth certificate with a non-Vietnamese name. (This could impact the child’s ability to obtain Vietnamese citizenship so please consult an attorney or talk to the Vietnamese officials handling the birth certificate to clarify how it will impact your child in the future.)

2. For immaterial name changes, like adding a Western first name to the complete Vietnamese name, show regular use of the name not listed on the birth certificate by providing other identification or records from various sources over a number of years. (The age of the child may impact the amount of evidence required as children under the age of five will not have many opportunities to obtain official documents and government records.) Examples of possible evidence includes:

  • Official government identification.
  • Public documents such as school and medical records showing the assumed name.
  • An explanatory affidavit signed by both parents and stating that the child’s desired name will be used exclusively.

3. Amend the Vietnamese birth certificate prior to issuance of the CRBA.

4. If the name change is requested after the issuance of a CRBA, obtain a legal name change via court order in the United States.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate cannot amend a CRBA.  You may wish to contact the Department of State to request an amendment.  For more information, please see: Replace or Amend a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

From April 4, 2016, the name of a Vietnamese parent on the child’s Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is printed in the same order as found in the parent’s Vietnamese passport.  If the Vietnamese parent’s passport shows the full name as: “Nguyen Van A”, the system will record “Van A” as given name and “Nguyen” as Surname.  Therefore, the child’s CRBA will show the Vietnamese parent’s name as “Van A Nguyen.”  As this is the correct order for Vietnamese names according to the U.S. Department of State, no adjustments can be made.  If there are other errors, please send us a public inquiry form.

CRBA applications are administratively closed 90 days after the date of submission.

Documents  that will assist in proving physical presence often includes airline tickets, Vietnam entry visa stamps on your passport, or any other proof you feel would assist the adjudicator in making a decision.  More examples are available at the transmission requirements page.

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate do not issue Social Security Numbers (SSN). The office of Social Security Administration (SSA) in Manila is the agency responsible for issuing SSN and individuals must apply for SSN directly with the SSA office located in Manila, Philippines. Normally, it takes 3-6 months for Manila to process the application and the social security cards will be mailed directly to your address given on the application. You can contact the SSA office directly. Their contact information is available here.

You can also apply for your child’s SSN after your child arrives in the United States.

If you registered your child as a Vietnamese citizen on his/her Vietnamese birth certificate, then you must apply for a Vietnamese passport for the child in order for him/her to leave Vietnam.

If you registered your child as a U.S. citizen on his/her Vietnamese birth certificate, then you must apply for a Vietnamese visa for the child after he/she receives a U.S. passport.

Regardless of the child’s citizenship, make sure to carry the child’s Vietnamese birth certificate when departing Vietnam as Immigration authorities may wish to see it.

Please contact the nearest Vietnam Immigration Department for more information about Vietnamese passports and visas:

Hanoi office:
Immigration Department: 44-46 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Inquiry phone: (024) 3825-7941 within Vietnam or (84-24) 3825-7941 from the U.S.
Website: https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Ho Chi Minh City offices:
Immigration Department: 333-335-337 Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Inquiry phone: (028) 3920-1701 – (028) 3920-0353 – (028) 3920-2300 – (028) 3838-6425.
Website: https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn
Office hours: 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays (except holidays).

Immigration Office: 196 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
Inquiry phone: (028) 3829-9398
Website:http://xnc.catphcm.bocongan.gov.vn/
Office hours: 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays (except holidays).